This morning we packed into the car and headed out for a day in Santa Barbara.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous!!!
Libi was nice and feisty in the backseat...
even insisting at one point, "No more pictures!"
We got to the zoo a few minutes ahead of the Strassner's who were meeting us, so we had time to feed the...
black neck swan!
We had never done this before. Libi really enjoyed giving him his food one by one.
This was Howard's first visit to the zoo and the kids really enjoyed showing him around.
Our first main stop was the snake, insect, reptile house-- not my favorite, but Libi enjoyed it!
The elephants here are always so active and happy!
Just look at that smile :)
All of the animals seemed to be awake and active today...
the kids got really close to the gorillas!
If I get reincarnated as a giraffe-- I hope I get to live here! Just look at that beach view!
He looks so relaxed-- I wish I was a serene as he was.
We were all a bit tweaked out by the giraffe walking through the zoo...
until we realized it was just an employee in a costume.
The kids blew off some steam in the playground!
Smart folks are now bringing cardboard to slide down the hill on. Ben managed to get a box for he, Libi and Emma to share (we will have to remember to take some next time!)
The kids did a great job of taking turns on their box and cheering each other on.
Libi had some priceless expressions on her trips to the bottom.
Libi wouldn't get in the egg when I asked her to, but once Ben asked her she hopped right in.
Love our silly little chicks!
Bock, bock, ba-gock!!!
This is one of my favorite photos of Ben EVER!!! Last time we were at the zoo (last summer) he never would have gotten on the web. He is becoming such a brave young man in front of my eyes. We all can't believe that this is his last month in preschool!! I will miss seeing him twice a week.
The kids found the foot massager...
and Ron put in the quarter...
which led to much laughter and shoes slipping off Emma's feet.
Perhaps my favorite animal at this zoo is the anteater...
not the most beautiful creature, but defiantly interesting!!!
Libi demonstrated how he eats his food!
We crossed back through the zoo to see the last of the animals and we had to stop for family pictures with the elephants. Here are the Ippolito's...
and the Strassner's!!!
We were able to witness a bit of excitement when we reached the tortoise exhibit-- this little guy had just escaped and was walking through the zoo. He was found by a zookeeper, returned, and then their primary zookeeper was called to do a count to make sure nobody else escaped! Poor guy really thought he was home free until he bumped into a zookeeper!
A short drive later...
we made it to the pier for lunch!
We had a nice lunch even though Libi wore much of her PB&J.
Afterward she entertained everyone with her dancing.
One final walk back to the car (with a brief stop for cinnamon salt water taffy) then it was in the car for the drive home and an in-the-car nap.
Thanks for a fun day Amy, Howard, Ben and Emma!
We made it back into the SCV just in time to attend Ron's yearbook dinner at Claim Jumper. This is his final tradition with the kids-- the editors from this year and the editors from the coming year all have dinner together. It was a nice bunch of kids!
While I was paying the bill, Ron took the kids outside to meet up with their parents and Libi did what she does best....